Bank CEOs Give Market Something to Talk About

Although the recent euphoria has waned somewhat, the market surged upward this week on hopes that the nation's leading banks were turning a corner.

The sentiment was sparked by an internal memo from Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit released Tuesday.

“We are profitable through the first two months of 2009 and are having our best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007,” Pandit told employees.

From 'Fast Money':

Citigroup’s Chairman Richard Parsons seconded this news in an interview with Reuters Thursday, saying that he had confidence in the “future viability and strength of a privately held Citi.”

Bank of America’s CEO Ken Lewis furthered the hope of a come back in the banking sector, saying that BofA had been profitable in the first two months of 2009 and would continue to be so throughout the year.

Here's a round-up of what the financial executives were saying this week:

“Bank of America should generate more than $100 billion in revenue this year, and close to $50 billion in pre-tax, pre-provision earnings.”

—Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO

“I actually think the next six months are going to be, in a positive way, a gut-wrenching time…we’re going to start seeing signs of improvement and, at some point, you have to pull the trigger on that investment or that expansion.”

—Ken Lewis, Bank of America CEO

“There are modest signs of recovery and healing out there. I think a lot of banks will be fine…we shouldn’t blanket everybody with the same brush.”

—Jamie Dimon, JP MorganCEO

“I think if we act like a dysfunctional family, and we don’t finish these things and are forever debating them, I think this will go on for several years at this point.”

—Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan CEO